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Authentic, Not Traditional.


Located in Shaw, Espita is exploring the food, drinks, and culture of southern Mexico

Driven by a quest to surface authentic flavors and techniques, Chef Rob Aikens and Beverage Director Megan Barnes are constantly pushing their teams to research and create.  They fuel their creativity with inspiration from their many travels to Mexico, bringing home memories and people they want to honor with their food and drink.

We specialize in Oaxacan cuisine seen through the lens of the Mid-Atlantic.  You will not find traditional Oaxacan dishes here.  Instead you will find authentic Oaxacan flavors and techniques applied to the beautiful seasonal bounty of our region, creating a unique experience only available here. Come try DC’s best tacos, tlayudas, & mezcal.

Food is the story of people.  Espita is our story about the people we've had the honor to meet on our journeys and how they've impacted us.


NYE - A Night with Frida & Diego

Join us for a tropical New Year’s Eve party! We’re celebrating with flower tiaras, unibrows, and music served by DJ Kim later in the evening. We’ll have specialty mezcal cocktails all night and a bubbly toast at midnight! No tickets. No overpriced fixed menu. Just come as you are (thematic dress always encouraged) and celebrate the new year with us.

Click here for reservations.

Shaw’s best Happy Hour

At Espita, we think Happy Hour specials should actually be special, so we offer our full selection of tacos for just $3, our “Mayahuel” (a.k.a. mezcal margarita) and perfectly made margaritas for half price, a shot + beer special, and an assortment of other delicious treats. Swing by after work (or dip out early) and say hi. We’re here for you. You deserve it.

Our happy hour is available wherever you feel comfortable: in our bar, on our enclosed and heated patio, or in our dining room. You choose. Make a reservation below, or just stop in. 



Enjoy a cocktail from our RAMMY winning cocktail team led by Washington City Paper's 2018 "Bartender of the Year", Megan Barnes


Our collection of mezcal is constantly evolving as mezcal is made in small quantities.  We generally have about 100 different choices on our menu and many that are so hard to source that they never hit paper.  Talk to our team about their favorite expressions.  All mezcal is served in 1, 2, or 6 oz pours with an accompaniment of sal de gusano and oranges. 


Megan Barnes, James Simpson, Kim Klinger, Pedro Tobar, Jordan Utz, Joe Schilling

Call (202) 621-9695 from 2p – 10p daily, or book online with OpenTable.